Class of 2011 senior gift already in the works

The Class of 2011 recently began planning its senior gift: a memorial for alumni who have served in the armed services and financial support for future students.

According to class of 2011 president, sophomore Nick Duell, sophomore Bridget Denicola submitted the idea to erect a monument for past and present students who have served the country. Her creativity earned her the position of Class of 2011 Senior Gift chairperson.

Denicola originally intended to incorporate the idea into her GOLD civic engagement project, but said she considered the sophomore class to be ambitious and thought the undertaking would be appropriate as a senior gift.

When the committee approached the Geneseo Foundation with the idea, Denicola said they were excited that the gift was being planned so early, as many classes begin the process in the second half of their junior year. Recent budget cuts, however, have left the foundation with limited funding. Directors were uncertain that having such a physical goal was practical in this economic climate.

In response, the committee proposed a compromise which allocates half of the gift funds to a modest marker recognizing students that have been part of the military and half to donations that will benefit Milne Library, the GOLD program, scholarships in honor of deceased students from the class of 2011 and potentially, other programs.

Denicola said that many programs on campus are struggling with finances, thus assigning some of the gift to support them is "a win-win situation for everyone." This approach, she said, will honor veteran students more than an elaborate monument would.

Duell noted that although it is unlikely that the committee will be able to afford a stone statue, the monument is "still going to be beautiful." No location has been finalized, but Duell said highly visible locations near the College Green are being considered.

According to Denicola, the committee is comprised of dedicated students with diverse passions and interests. She said that although the committee has a large financial goal, they are optimistic that starting early will allow them to organize effective fundraisers.

More information about the gift is available on the class of 2011 Web site, Interested students are invited to contribute ideas and attend meetings. "We would love for anyone to come and help out," said Denicola.